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Are Taliban on the Verge of Making a Comeback in Afghanistan?

Dec. 20, 2015 (EIRNS)—In an article in the National Interest Online magazine on Dec. 18, retired Lt. Colonel Daniel Davies, a widely published analyst, said that the Taliban is close to making a comeback and that it is opposite of what the Obama administration claims—of having achieved "victory" in Afghanistan. Davies pointed to the former commander of NATO troops in Afghanistan Gen. John Allen stunningly claiming an "allied victory" when he addressed a group of dignitaries at his change-of-command ceremony in 2013.

In his analysis, Davies said:

"While most eyes have been riveted on the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq, the Taliban in Afghanistan have steadily increased in power while the Afghan government continues to founder and the Afghan security forces remain only marginally capable. Our failed strategies are not simply academic or ‘regrettable,’ but pose serious risks to U.S. national security beyond just the terrorist threat on the ground in Afghanistan."

He also cited the London-based Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid—author of two well-documented books on the recent history of Afghanistan, Taliban and Descent to Chaos—who said on Dec. 12 that a Taliban return to power was "no longer improbable." Rashid had also said, Davies noted, that the return of the Taliban will result in "further destabilization of Pakistan and Central Asia, creating the perfect conditions for the expansion of the Islamic State."

What Davies did not address is the Obama Administration’s manipulation of the 2014 presidential elections that brought to power Ashraf Ghani, a World Bank technocrat who was out of Afghanistan during the tumultuous years of 1973-2002. Manipulating Ghani, a Pushtun who has no political base, to attain the presidency at the expense of the Tajik leader, Abdullah Abdullah, has further deepened the fissure between the Pushtuns and the Tajik-Uzbek-Hazara coalition that has always fought against the Taliban. That Obama-led policy has played a significant role in strengthening the Taliban.